Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rhode Island Moves Toward Renewable Energy

According to this article in the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal, Rhode Island is going green. Read an excerpt below:
BY TIMOTHY C. BARMANN and KATHERINE GREGGJournal Staff Writers

State Rep. David Segal, D-Providence, answers questions from his House colleagues as his alternate-energy bill is debated.
The Providence Journal / Connie Grosch
PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Senate last night passed a series of energy bills designed to encourage and embrace renewable energy projects, both large and small, in order to make the state less dependent on electricity produced by traditional fossil fuels.
The House of Representatives approved one of its own and started debate on another. But in this corner of the State House, the debate escalated into allegations the bill had been stuffed “chock-full” with so many “treats” that it had been turned into the legislative equivalent of a piƱata, and then rammed through a House committee without the opportunity for public comment on the potential added costs to ratepayers.
The House will resume its alternative-energy debate today, with passionate advocates on both sides.
Supporters of the legislation said it would spark development of small-scale renewable-energy projects, foster private investment in large-scale wind and solar projects, stabilize electricity prices, and at the same time spur economic development within the state.
Environmental advocates, who helped craft the bills, said enacting the laws would thrust Rhode Island into the forefront of renewable energy development in New England.
The centerpiece of the legislation is a bill that would require National Grid to enter into long-term contracts with renewable-energy developers to purchase their electricity. That requirement would give assurance to prospective developers that there would be a customer for the electricity produced by the project. Such assurance, the developers have said, is needed to borrow money to build renewable energy projects.
On the House side, some legislators were not convinced the bills were a good idea, and suggested that the General Assembly should take more time to study the potential impacts, such as how the bills might affect electricity rates.
“These are very complicated subjects which tend to be overwhelmed by emotional appeals to the ‘need to do something’ about alternative energy,” said Rep. Laurence Ehrhardt, R-North Kingstown.
The most significant energy bill, which passed the Senate yesterday, requires National Grid to enter into “commercially reasonable” long-term contracts to buy renewable energy from developers who plan to build large-scale renewable-energy projects. The company would be required to buy at least 5 percent of the power it delivers to Rhode Island, and the contracts would last 10 to 15 years, or even longer with approval by the Public Utilities Commission.
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 26 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at http://www.theregenerationproject.org/State.Check out the National IPL Blog.
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1 comment:

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

You have two interesting and thoughtful blogs Pastor Denise. I especially enjoyed your post re LED's.

Blessings,